Delicious Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi Recipe with Gourmet Sauces

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine transforming the humble sweet potato into something unexpectedly delightful—Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi. This vibrant twist on a classic Italian dish not only brings a splash of color to your plate but also offers a sweet, nutty flavor that’s hard to resist. Originating from Italy, gnocchi traditionally combines the comforting textures of potatoes with the heartiness of pasta. By using purple sweet potatoes, you’re not just adding a pop of color; you’re infusing your meal with a dose of healthy antioxidants.

Perfect for a cozy night in or a fancy dinner party, these little pillows of joy are surprisingly simple to make. You’ll love how they pair beautifully with a range of sauces, from a light sage butter to a creamy gorgonzola. Ready to impress your taste buds and your guests? Let’s dive into the world of homemade gnocchi with a colorful twist.

Ingredients

To embark on your culinary adventure with purple sweet potato gnocchi, gather the following ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to craft the colorful, delightful pillows of goodness.

Purple Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 large purple sweet potatoes (about 1 pound) – choose ones with firm, smooth skins.
  • 1 teaspoon salt – for seasoning the potatoes.

Gnocchi Basics

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour – may need extra for dusting.
  • 1 large egg – beaten.
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg – for a hint of warmth and spice.
  • Salt – a pinch to enhance the flavors.

Other Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese – for a cheesy twist.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves – finely chopped, for a touch of herby freshness.
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper – to add a slight kick.
  • Butter or olive oil – for sautéing or tossing the cooked gnocchi.

Each component plays an essential role in creating a delicious and visually appealing dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether keeping it simple or amping it up with enhancements, your gnocchi will surely be a feast for both the eyes and the palate.

Equipment Needed

Before you start crafting your delectable Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi, ensure you have the right equipment on hand to make the process smooth and enjoyable. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Large Pot: To boil the sweet potatoes until they are tender.
  • Steamer Basket (optional): If you prefer to steam the potatoes to retain more nutrients.
  • Potato Masher or Ricer: Essential for getting the smooth, fine texture needed for your gnocchi dough.
  • Large Mixing Bowl: To mix the mashed sweet potatoes with the flour, egg, and seasonings.
  • Fork or Gnocchi Board: To create those classic grooves on your gnocchi, which are perfect for holding onto sauce.
  • Sharp Knife: To cut the gnocchi dough into small, even pieces.
  • Baking Sheet: Lined with parchment paper, used for resting the cut gnocchi before cooking.
  • Slotted Spoon: Handy for gently lifting the gnocchi out of boiling water.
  • Skillet: For sautéing the cooked gnocchi with butter or olive oil and sage for that final, flavorful finish.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: To accurately measure your ingredients.

Gather these items and clear some space in your kitchen. You’re now ready to start making the gnocchi. This setup not only ensures a smooth cooking process but also contributes to achieving the optimal texture and flavor of your homemade gnocchi.

Preparation Steps

Now that you have all your ingredients and essential equipment lined up, let’s dive into the exciting part of making the gnocchi. Follow these detailed steps to ensure your purple sweet potato gnocchi turns out perfectly soft and irresistibly tasty.

Roasting the Sweet Potatoes

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Thoroughly wash your purple sweet potatoes to remove any dirt. Pat them dry with a clean towel.
  3. Using a fork, prick each potato several times. This helps steam escape during the roasting process, preventing the potatoes from bursting.
  4. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to avoid sticking.
  5. Roast in the preheated oven for about 45 to 60 minutes. The exact time may vary depending on the size of the potatoes. They should be tender enough that a fork can easily pierce through the skin and into the flesh.
  6. Once done, remove the sweet potatoes from the oven.

Peeling and Mashing the Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  1. Allow the roasted sweet potatoes to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes until you can handle them comfortably. Don’t cool them too long; the warmth is beneficial for the next steps.
  2. Pick up each potato, and using your fingers, gently peel off the skin. The skin should come away easily if they are adequately roasted. Discard the skins.
  3. Proceed to mash the peeled potatoes while they are still warm. It’s easier to achieve a smooth texture when the potatoes are warm. Ensure there are no lumps for even-textured gnocchi.

Dough Preparation

After roasting, peeling, and mashing your purple sweet potatoes, you’re ready to prepare the gnocchi dough. This step is crucial for creating the perfect texture of your gnocchi.

Mixing Ingredients

Start by placing your warm, mashed purple sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl. For every cup of mashed sweet potato, you’ll need to add about 1 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour—start with a smaller amount and add more as needed to achieve the right dough consistency. Sprinkle in a teaspoon of salt to enhance the flavors.

Mix the flour and salt with the sweet potatoes gently. Add one large egg to help bind the mixture. It’s important to mix until just combined; overworking the dough can make your gnocchi tough. Once your dough forms a cohesive but slightly sticky ball, lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out of the bowl.

Forming the Gnocchi

Gently knead the dough on your floured surface. If it’s excessively sticky, sprinkle a bit more flour, but be cautious as too much flour can make the gnocchi dense. Divide the dough into four equal portions. Roll each portion into a long, about 1-inch wide rope.

Using a sharp knife, cut the ropes into 1-inch pieces. To give your gnocchi those classic ridges, press and roll each piece against the tines of a fork or a gnocchi board. These ridges are not just decorative; they help your sauce cling to the gnocchi better.

As you form the gnocchi, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, ensuring they don’t touch each other. This prevents the gnocchi from sticking together before they are cooked. Once all your gnocchi are formed, you can either cook them immediately or freeze them for later use.

Cooking Instructions

Now that your gnocchi are shaped and ready, it’s time to cook them to perfection. Follow these steps to ensure they come out wonderfully tender and delicious.

Boiling the Gnocchi

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil. Add a pinch of salt to the water to enhance the flavor of the gnocchi.
  2. Carefully place the gnocchi into the boiling water in batches to avoid overcrowding, which can cause them to stick together.
  3. Cook the gnocchi until they float to the surface, an indication that they are done. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to gently remove the gnocchi from the water once they float to the top and transfer them to a colander or a clean kitchen towel to drain. Shake gently to remove excess water.

Assembling and Browning the Gnocchi

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
  2. Once the butter is melted and bubbly, add the boiled gnocchi in a single layer, ensuring they are not overcrowded. You may need to do this in batches.
  3. Let the gnocchi cook undisturbed for 2-4 minutes or until the underside turns golden brown and crispy.
  4. Flip the gnocchi carefully using a spatula and brown the other side for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  5. Once the gnocchi are evenly browned, remove them from the skillet and place them on a serving dish. Optionally, you can sprinkle them with fresh herbs or grated Parmesan cheese for added flavor.

These steps will yield beautifully cooked purple sweet potato gnocchi that are ready to be dressed up with your favorite sauce or enjoyed as is.

Serving Suggestions

Now that your purple sweet potato gnocchi is beautifully golden and crispy, it’s time to think about how to serve them to best enhance their unique flavor and texture.

  • Sage Brown Butter Sauce: A classic choice that complements the nutty flavor of the sweet potatoes. Simply melt butter in a pan, add fresh sage leaves, and cook until the butter reaches a nutty brown color.
  • Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce: If you’re a cheese lover, melt some Gorgonzola with cream for a rich and tangy sauce that balances the sweetness of the gnocchi.
  • Garlic and Olive Oil: For a lighter option, heat olive oil with minced garlic until fragrant, then toss the gnocchi in the oil to coat. Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt and cracked black pepper.
  • Toasted Pine Nuts: Their crunchy texture and buttery flavor make toasted pine nuts an excellent topping.
  • Fresh Herbs: Chopped parsley, chives, or basil will add a pop of color and freshness to your dish.
  • Grated Parmesan: A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese provides a lovely salty bite which pairs perfectly with the richness of the gnocchi.

Make-Ahead Instructions

Preparing your Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi in advance can be a strategic move to save time and enhance flavors. Follow these make-ahead instructions to ensure your gnocchi turns out perfect every time, ready to be finished with your chosen sauces and toppings.

Prepare the Gnocchi Dough

Start by preparing your gnocchi dough as outlined in the previous sections. Once you have your smooth, vibrant purple dough ready:

  1. Shape the Dough: Roll the dough into long, thin logs, about half an inch in diameter. Cut these logs into half-inch pieces to form the gnocchi.
  2. Indent Each Piece: Use the back of a fork to gently press each piece, creating the classic grooved texture that helps sauce cling to the gnocchi.

Freeze the Gnocchi

If you won’t be cooking the gnocchi immediately:

  1. Arrange on a Baking Sheet: Lay the shaped gnocchi on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure they are spaced out so they do not touch each other.
  2. Freeze Until Solid: Place the baking sheet in the freezer and leave until the gnocchi are solid, about 1-2 hours.
  3. Transfer to a Freezer Bag: Once solid, transfer the gnocchi to a freezer-safe bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bag to prevent freezer burn and store in the freezer.

Cooking from Frozen

When you’re ready to enjoy your gnocchi:

  1. Boil Water: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Cook Gnocchi: Add the frozen gnocchi to the boiling water. There’s no need to thaw them first. Cook until they float to the surface, then allow them to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes to ensure they are heated through.
  3. Drain and Serve: Drain the gnocchi and toss them with your chosen sauce and toppings as discussed in the previous section.

Conclusion

So there you have it—your next culinary adventure awaits with purple sweet potato gnocchi. Embrace the delightful twist these vibrant gnocchi bring to your table not just with their color but also with their health benefits. Whether you’re planning a cozy dinner for two or a festive gathering, this dish is sure to impress. Don’t forget to experiment with the sauces and toppings to find your favorite combination. Happy cooking and even happier eating!

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